Here’s the latest from both Big Apple teams…
- Despite Stephen Drew’s struggles, ESPN New York’s Andrew Marchand writes that the Yankes may not address second base in any major way at the trade deadline due to a lack of clear upgrades on the market. Rob Refsnyder has shown defensive improvement at Triple-A and could be called up to supplant Jose Pirela, yet it’s possible Refsnyder himself could be trade bait; he has some prospect value but he isn’t one of the “top tier guys” in the Yankee farm system.
- From that same piece, Marchand also notes that the Yankees aren’t likely to obtain an ace starter like Johnny Cueto or Cole Hamels “unless prices drop significantly.”
- The Yankees are only a season and a half removed from handing more than $500MM in free agent contracts to Carlos Beltran, Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann and Masahiro Tanaka, yet the early returns are still inconclusive at best, Marchand and Wallace Matthews write. Beltran hasn’t shown much, McCann struggled in 2014 but has hit well this season, and Ellsbury and Tanaka have both looked good when healthy but still have injury question marks hanging over them. While there’s still plenty of time for the quartet to live up to their big contracts, this uncertainty in the early years of their contracts (when each, save Beltran, should still be in or close to their primes) isn’t an encouraging sign.
- The Mets have struggled badly against right-handed pitching this season, a problem that Joel Sherman of the New York Post blames on “front office negligence” and a “refusal to churn — to aggressively try to upgrade even marginally” for quality left-handed bench depth. Juan Lagares has been particularly ineffective against righty pitching, and Sherman lists five players (Brock Holt, Gerardo Parra, David Peralta, Seth Smith and Will Venable) he feels would be good options as platoon partners with Lagares in center field. Of that group, I highly doubt the Red Sox would deal the versatile Holt and Smith’s contract is likely too expensive for the Mets’ seemingly limited payroll.
- If Mets GM Sandy Alderson is indeed “prepared to overpay” for a hitting upgrade, ESPN’s Buster Olney (via Twitter) wonders if the team could shop Zack Wheeler to an American League team. The Mets already have a plethora of young rotation options and Wheeler could be seen as expendable. An interested team would be making “a futures bet,” as Olney puts it, since Wheeler is out of action until roughly the middle of 2016 recovering from both Tommy John and tendon surgeries.